Daily Archives: February 11, 2011

How NOT to get fleeced in Vegas (at $1-$2 no limit Texas Hold’em cash games)

Things I’ve learned while in Vegas. I’m not a “know-it-all.” My friends back home know I’m no pro.  Frankly, my buddies back home were tougher than the typical $1-$2 no limit table that I’ve run into in Vegas. Locals consider it their Patriotic duty to “fleece the tourists.” Don’t be that guy who is fit to be fleeced.  How? By listening to me.   I’m just a bee who has found a good source of nectar and I’m trying to pass along that knowledge to whoever is wise enough to listen. So, in no particular order, some of the knowledge that I have gleaned in my first three months here in Vegas…

1.       Buy in amount: Nothing spells RANK AMATEUR like buying in for the minimum. Sure, maybe you are down on your luck, or just dipping your toe into the deeper waters, but why not just put a sign on your forehead: “RANK NEWBY! Beat me!” At least keep us guessing.  Let us figure out that you do not know what the hell you are doing by first playing a few hands.

 2.  Know thy enemy: You just sat down at the table. Your adrenaline is pumping. Your hands are shaking. You look down and see A-T off suit under the gun.  Throw it away.  Or you see J-T suited. Whatever, dude.  Throw. It. Away.  Shut up and listen. Sit and watch. The first 30-40 minutes are just for watching and determining the types of players that you are up against. Does the guy to your right play too many hands? Does the guy to your right over-play big pocket pairs? Does the guy next to the dealer ALWAYS make a continuation bet, even when he does not hit the flop? Shut up, sit there and do your homework. Or you can just play the first hand, and every other hand once you sit down, and lose your entire stack in a nanosecond. Did I mention “shut up and listen? Sit there and watch?” If not, I meant to.

 3.       Recognizing locals: I’ve only been here about three months but already I can recognize most locals within minutes. Telling you how to recognize one is too difficult. What they do not (usually) do is easier.  Ball caps from other locations (If you were from Vegas would you wear a “Cleveland Browns” cap?).   Sunglasses and ipod and fancy clothes? Can you say TOOORIST?Okay, some locals wear gaudy wristwatches, jewelry and headgear. Watch who they talk to. Do they know the dealer? Do others walk by and talk to them who also do not look like they are from CLEVELAND, OHIO, or do they mention playing together in a cash game three weeks ago? This is  not rocket science. Just listen, observe, and use your common sense. Why do you want to “recognize locals”? One, to stay out of their way, in general. But also to exploit them, under the right circumstances—more about that later. Continue reading